Thursday, January 17, 2008


Back a few years ago, a Harley Davidson Drag Racing team came to me with the idea of creating a t-shirt they could sell at their drag meets. They lined up the girls, the graphic artist that would convert the photos into the final t-shirt graphic, as well as the t-shirt printing company. So early one Saturday morning in July, a big trailer pulled up in front of my house, and this very interesting bike was rolled out of the back and into my garage where I had set up a back drop and some studio lights.

The backdrop didn't matter a great deal since it was going to be cut from the final photos when the images were turned into the t-shirt graphics. The interesting part was that the bike, with it's extended front rails was much, much longer than I had anticipated, and though I thought that I had more than enough room in my garage studio, the front end of the bike stuck out of the garage and into the driveway a bit - which prevented closing the garage door.

This really wasn't a problem until the models showed up, and I realized that what the team had envisioned was a couple of nude girls on the bike with their "bits" to be covered by the team banners when the graphic artist did the final work later. To top it off, my 13 year old niece and my 65 year old mother were visiting from their small hometown in Georgia. I wasn't too worried about my mom and my niece, though they were quite curious about what was going on in the garage, but I didn't think it was the best idea to be shooting nudes in my wide open garage on a Saturday morning in the summer.

So, I got the bike team to help me rig another set of backdrops over the garage door to add some privacy and we started shooting. The team had several ideas, and we tried a number of variations, which did include some bikini shots. The rider had to dress up in full leathers and a helmet, and this meant we had to take several breaks to let him cool off (both physically and mentally).

At one point, my niece eluded my wife and manged to get out to the garage to get a drink from the beverage refrigerator, and her eyes got quite wide when she saw the shooting activity. She just had to run back inside to tell my mother that "Uncle Mark has a bunch of naked women and a biker gang in the garage."

Of course, that meant Mom had to come out for a look herself. She just chuckled at the site, and then she started chatting up one of the bike team members. Soon enough the shoot was over, the models hung around to get a few shots for their own portfolios, and the bike team loaded up the equipment in the trailer and got ready to leave. While I was burning the raw images to a disk for the team, the girls got dressed, the team finished their loading and my mom invited them all out to the back deck for a cold beer. She must have kept them out there talking for the better part of an hour, and when she got back to Georgia she bragged about how she had beers out on my deck with a biker gang and a bunch of naked women.

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